City Sports Report

Are the New York Mets ready to turn into contenders?

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The free agency period for Major League Baseball is underway,, and with the offseason in full swing, the New York Mets are officially on the clock.

The time is now for Mets general manager Sandy Alderson; he’s preached patience to the fans for most of the four years he’s been in charge. In 2014, Lucas Duda took advantage of a full-time audition to be team’s first baseman, he didn’t disappoint with a 30-home run season along with 92 RBI. Jacob deGrom and Travis d’Arnaud gave fans a glimpse into the future with impressive seasons, respectively. Combine those positives with the return of Matt Harvey from Tommy John surgery and the Mets have themselves the makings of a young core.

Alderson has taken his time to re-establish the Mets farm system.  Now it’s time for him to surround his young core with the pieces required to become contenders again. Money has been an issue for the Mets throughout Alderson’s tenure as general manager. It’s no secret that he’s been handcuffed financially by the team’s ownership group for much of his time there. Last year, the Mets opened up the checkbooks by signing Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon. The moves didn’t lead to the playoffs or Alderson’s ambitious goal of a 90-win season, however it showed some light at the tunnel when it comes to the Mets willingness to spend cash.

When it comes to expectations this winter with the Mets, they should remain tempered at best. However, that doesn’t mean Alderson is going to sit back and do nothing. If the Mets are going to become contenders, they’ll  have to be proactive in the free agent market. It’s not how many moves a team makes in free agency, it’s which moves they make.

The Mets need help with offense. The starting pitching is legit, however the offense needs consistency and an imposing threat in the everyday lineup.

Alderson will most likely have to look for this winter’s Nelson Cruz, the free agent the Mets passed on last season for Chris Young. Cruz went on to sign a one-year, $8 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles. He hit an MLB-high 40 home runs. The Mets signed Young to a one-year, $7 million deal, but he struggled before being released late in the season. Cruz most likely will not be in the Mets price-range this winter, and the team will most likely look for another option on the market that has the potential to produce similar results.

What the free agency route may not produce, the Mets might be able to get through a trade. Daniel Murphy is the obvious trade piece for New York, but they also have a plethora of young arms and prospects to dangle to interested teams. But Murphy is coming off his first All-Star appearance in 2014, and is also set to become a free agent after the 2015 season. His steady and consistent bat makes him an intriguing option for teams to entertain trading for. If the Mets are to look for a big bat to stabilize their lineup, Murphy’s name is almost certain to come up in any talks with another team.

If Alderson has been anything while general manager of the Mets, he’s been consistent in his message of patience. Through his first couple of years on the job he held the Mets hand while ownership got back on it’s feet financially. The Mets are not contenders yet, however they have a core that’s in place potentially for years to come, and that’s thanks to Alderson.

Now all that’s left is for Alderson to finish the job.  How he goes about that this winter will go a long way in determining if the Mets are ready to become contenders again.

For my opinion on the Michael Cuddyer signing, click on the link below.

http://www.citysportsreport.com/mets-cuddyer-2015/

Anthony Rushing is a contributing writer for CitySportsReport.com, you can follow him on Twitter @AnthonyRushing_

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